Despite a good team performance our Under 20s crashed out of the Youth Cup at the third round stage after losing 2-1 at Palmerston Park against Queen of the South Under 20s.
For the game coach Donald Jennow was only allowed to field players born on or after 1st January 1997 with the exception of on loan Hamilton Accies player Conor Scullion who was cup tied and this meant our starting line up included eight apprentices and three Under 20s players whilst Queen of the South included hot prospect Owen Moxon in their starting eleven.
Queen of the South started the game brightest and had the first chance on the 3rd minute when Connor Murray hit a curling shot from about 20 yards out but the ball went wide and three minutes later they came extremely close to scoring when a dangerous cross into the box fell to Ross Ferguson at the back post and he hit a shot but the ball rattled the bar and bounced away to safety and then on the 15th minute Queen of the South Jack Brannan picked up a yellow card for a foul on Airdrie's Cameron Russell.
Our young Diamonds settled into the game and on the 28th minute won a penalty for a foul on Conor Bell by Owen Moxon which resulted in him getting a yellow card and from the penalty Ciaran Reilly stepped up confidently and sent Queen of the South goalkeeper Jack Leighfield the wrong way and the ball into the back of the net to give us a 1-0 lead. Both teams cancelled one another our as the half went on and with only four minutes of it remaining our Under 20s had the final chance of it when Ciaran Reilly hit a shot from inside the box but the ball went harmlessly over the bar and we headed into half time winning 1-0.
Before the first chance of the half Airdrie's Jordan Duncan picked up a yellow card for a reckless challenge on the 50th minute and five minutes later Calvin Cowie was unlucky to be yellow carded for a challenge which the referee deemed to be a foul about 20 yards from goal and from the resulting free kick Queen of the South's Connor Murray hit a curling shot and the ball flew by Airdrie goalkeeper Matthew Kerr and into the top corner of the net to give him no chance and to make it 1-1.
Queen of the South gained confidence from this and on the 58th minute Ross Ferguson got onto the end of a cross into the box with a shot but Matthew Kerr brilliantly flew through the air to get a hand to the ball and turn it behind and from the resulting corner no danger was caused and four minutes later Queen of the South made their first substitution as Jesse Akubuine came on for Owen Moxon. Shortly after this Queen of the South had another chance when a cross into the box was only headed clear as far as Jack Brannan who was about 25 yards from goal and he terrifically caught the ball on the volley and sent a powerful shot flying by Matthew Kerr and into the back of the net to give him no chance and Queen of the South a 2-1 lead.
Before the games next chance Queen of the South made their final two substitutions as Jay McInally and Robbie Hogg came on for Ross Ferguson and Robbie Miller on the 73rd and 76th minutes however four minutes later it was Airdrie who had it when Ciaran Reilly got a touch to the ball to divert it goal wards from a terrific Robbie Leighton cross into the box but Jack Leighfield brilliantly managed to keep the ball out to deny our young Diamonds. Our Under 20s brought Under 17s players Euan Scott and Ewan McGuinness on for Scott Thomson and Jordan Duncan as they tried to get back into the game but there was to be no more chances and we lost the game 2-1 and exited the youth cup for another season.
1 Matthew Kerr, 2 Craig Truesdale, 3 Arran Ross, 4 Jordan Duncan, 5 Conor Bell, 6 Calvin Cowie, 7 Scott Thomson, 8 Robbie Leighton, 9 Ciaran Reilly, 10 Conor McLaughlin (Captain), 11 Cameron Russell
15 Ewan McGuinness for 4 Jordan Duncan, 16 Euan Scott for 7 Scott Thomson
Substitutes Not Used:
12 Ewan Gartshore, 17 Callum Kinvig
Queen of the South:
1 Jack Leighfield, 2 Jack Brannan, 3 Shane Glean, 4 Owen Bell, 5 Ayrton Sonkur, 6 Richard Murray (Captain), 7 Ryan Nelson, 8 Owen Moxon, 9 Ross Ferguson, 10 Connor Murray, 11 Robbie Miller
15 Jesse Akubuine for 8 Owen Moxon, 17 Robbie Hogg for 11 Robbie Miller, 18 Jay McInally for 9 Ross Ferguson
Substitutes Not Used:
14 Ewan Gourlay, 16 Jake Thompson, 19 Bailey White, 20 Cameron Copland
Mr. Finlay Currie